Doctors estimate that 30 percent of people sometimes have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Insomnia can be a frustrating problem, and extended periods of sleeplessness can cause physical problems, including an inability to focus, poor concentration, memory problems, disorientation and impaired coordination, mood swings and irritability, and increased vulnerability to accidents. If you have persistent insomnia, see our physician for a checkup to address any underlying medical condition.
Although there are over-the-counter medications and sleeping pills, these just suppress the symptoms without actually solving the problem. For less severe insomnia, it is wise to try one of these natural approaches:
1. Hypnotherapy – Hypnosis has proven quite effective in treating common psychological conditions such as stress and anxiety, and the resultant insomnia.
2. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is known to have a strong relaxing effect, and it has been helpful in treating mild insomnia.
3. Nutraceutical Remedies: Herbs such as valerian have proven effective against insomnia, as has melatonin taken early in the evening.
4. Utilize a Routine: Having a regular bedtime routine often helps relieve insomnia. Try taking a warm bath before bed, and go to bed at the same time every night. Get up in the morning as soon as you feel rested.
5. Set the Scene: Sleep in a dark room without any electronics, and maintain a comfortable room temperature. You may want to listen to relaxing music or “white noise” recordings.
6. Meditation: Daily meditation often helps insomnia, and many people fall asleep listening to a sleep induction audio.
7. Monitor Substances: Do not drink caffeinated beverages after noon, and avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. Quit smoking (you knew that was a good idea, anyway) or avoid smoking in the evenings.
8. Get Regular Exercise: Exercise is best done in the morning. If you don’t work out at a gym, go for a walk or for a swim. Yoga is also excellent.